Dec 242014

Money transfer scams are very common these days. Almost everyone who has an email address receives emails claiming that the recipient has won a lottery worth $1000000 or something or that this amount has no heir and would be transferred to the recipient of the email. Such phishing cases have only increased with time and the common people unaware of the tricks fall into the traps of the scammers.

Free MoneySome people lose their savings while others lose their living by believing in these tricksters. These days, due to the availability of more channels of communication, they have begun using all channels possible to find their prey. I have received such messages on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn as well. One should only approve requests for connection or inclusion into one’s network for known people.

To avoid being a victim of money transfer scams, we should totally avoid any email, message or notification that suggests that we are being awarded money; remember that money is earned, nobody gives it to you just like that. Secondly, report any suspicious persons or messages wherever possible. If such an email is in your inbox for example, report it as spam and block the email addresses that send these emails.

The leading money transfer operators like MoneyGram and Western Union are often used by scammers to fulfil their purpose. One must be careful never to send money to anyone except when the recipient is known and the purpose is apparent.

Oct 292014

Federal Reserve Bank of New YorkQuestion:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is trying to send me money through a wire transfer to my bank account and they are asking me for my banks swift code. I called my bank and they said they don’t have a swift code. The federal Reserve bank in New York, told me that I have to register the code, and to do that, I had to pay $427. I need to know if this is right.

By the way, I am in Texas. I need a response to this message ASAP please. Thank you



Dear Cheryl, thanks for writing to us.

You said the Federal Bank wants to send you money and they want a SWIFT code for your bank. Do they want you to pay them $427 for registering a SWIFT code? A bank individually registers for it, it is not upon their customers to do it. If they don’t have a SWIFT code, they are not a member of SWIFT community.

If you haven’t read our article on SWIFT codes, I urge you to read it here. SWIFT is used i case of international transfers, and for local transfers within the US, you have the Fedwire network. I doubt that the Federal Bank of New York would request for a SWIFT code for sending money to Texas. They could use a local framework instead.

I advise you to be careful because scams in the name of Federal Bank are quite common these days. You could read this on the bank’s website. I’d like to quote a statement from a link on that page:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and other Federal Reserve Banks will never contact the public via unsolicited phone calls or e-mails asking for money or any other type of personal information. Moreover, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and other Federal Reserve Banks will never contact the public regarding the issuance of a wire transfer.

Having said all this, even if this was a genuine case, then remember that you are not supposed to pay for registering a bank as a member of the SWIFT network. Whoever is requesting money from you maybe trying to scam you, so be alert.

Sep 082012

By Joyce Morse for

Wire transfer scams are nothing new, but they can be hard to recognize.  You may know to be aware of the stranger that emails you asking for a large dollar amount that you can transfer to their bank account.  But what other scams might catch the unsuspecting off guard?

How to Recognize a Scam

Money transfer scam

Money transfer scam

First of all, don’t assume that scams only happen from third world countries.  The fact is that many scams happen in all countries, including the United States.  Not all scams are conducted by individuals; many use a business name to make them seem more legitimate.  Several warning signs will tip you to the possibility that you are being scammed.  Here are some things to watch for:

  • They ask you for money.  Scam artists know that if you wire money, there is no way for you to get it back.  If you are making a purchase, always use a credit card or other form of payment that provides a way to trace it.
  • They ask for money to give money.  If you have been “approved” for a loan and are asked for a payment for some kind of fee, this is a warning.
  • They ask for a large fee.  You may be told that you won a prize such as a cruise but must a processing fee.  While it is true that many things come with a fee, they will be reasonable – not several hundreds of dollars.
  • Someone contacts you to say a relative needs money for an emergency but cannot call you themselves.  Scam artists know that emotions get involved in these situations and prevent people from making reasonable decisions, which is what they are counting on.

Tips to Follow When Sending Money

Here are some guidelines on sending money to keep you from being the victim of money transfer fraud.

  • Only send money to people you know.  Since the money is gone forever when you send it and there is no way to get it back, don’t send a wire transfer to a stranger.
  • Never send money to pay for fees or other expenses on lottery winnings or other prizes.
  • Do not give out your bank account information or credit card numbers to people you don’t know.
  • Verify any situation where you are asked to send money to a relative for an emergency by someone you don’t know.
  • Never send money to someone that sent you a check until it clears.  This can take weeks for some countries.
  • Research to find a phone number and address for the business.  If you can’t find any information, be suspicious.
  • Above all, follow this rule:  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Money transfers are a valuable service as a way to send money to people and businesses, but scam artists utilize this service to conduct their fraud.  Protect yourself by being cautious with anyone who asks for money.